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Sahuarita Town Council to discuss appointing replacement member

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Sahuarita Town Council to discuss appointing replacement member

  • Sahuarita Town Council members will consider and maybe vote on a replacement for their former colleague Gil Lusk, who resigned earlier this year.
    Sahuarita SunSahuarita Town Council members will consider and maybe vote on a replacement for their former colleague Gil Lusk, who resigned earlier this year.

The Sahuarita Town Council will consider and perhaps appoint a new council member Monday during their meeting.

The new member will replace Gil Lusk, who retired in March.

They have a list of six finalists to choose from, who seem to have a consensus that public safety and growth management are key concerns for the town. Growth management? When did Sahuarita go all hippy? 

William Foraker was the former chief executive of the Terra Haute Regional Airport, in Indiana. So he has pretty good municipal chops.  

Steven Gillespie is a surgeon in the Tucson area and he listed public safety, expanding the Anamex Recreation Center or building a new one, and preparing for a possible recession as his top concerns.

Teodoro Tesois a fifth-generation Sahuaritan. I didn't know there was such a thing. He wants ecologically-focused growth management, creating a "downtown hub" and better dialogue between the town and community.

Jeremy Klopp touts his experience in business as an untapped asset for the town. He says his top goals are more public engagement and "growth sustainment" (but I wonder if he means sustainability because he talks about careful planning).

Former drug rehabilitation center director Kurt von Geldern names growth management through better zoning practices a top concern. Protecting the town from human trafficking and better training in schools and on the police force are his other top issues. 

Last but in no way least is Noah Sundberg, whom I have personally clashed with over the years on all matters politics. He basically says "Hey council members, you need a real conservative among your ranks."

He's critical of the town in several areas but the one that got me was his takedown of the city-owned Sahuarita Advanced Manufacturing and Technology facility, which is leased to employers that the council thinks will contribute to the town's economy. Sundberg doesn't that's the government's job. 

He might have a point. He might be full of it. It's a legit argument. So maybe the council wants to give folks like Sundberg a voice. Why not? I might think he's a right-wing crackpot. He thinks I'm a liberal puke. God bless America.

I can see adding another voice through appointment that is in line with the views of the current council and letting the voters decide on any changes later. I can also see using it as a chance to add some degree of diversity of opinion to Sahuarita's government.

There's the town's $107 million in revenues, while the council is spending only a little more than half of it, according to the budget.  The rest is a surplus. Bet Sundberg might ask, why are you sitting on that money? How about a sales tax rebate?

From the rest of their agenda, the council will also be holding "special" meetings to vote on two budgets and consult with their attorneys behind closed doors. 

Then there's a $20 million budget for the Rancho Sahuarita Facilities District and just $1.1 million on the Quail Creek Facilities District.

The legal advice is about ongoing negotiations the council is involved with — including buying a chunk of Farmer's Investment Company property for public right of way.

Finally, the town will vote on renewing a contract for a school resource officer to staff Walden Grove High School at a cost of just over $100,000. It's not a huge deal but I figured I'd point it out after what happened in Uvalde, Texas.

Blake Morlock is an award-winning columnist, who worked in daily journalism for nearly 20 years and is the former communications director for the Pima County Democratic Party.

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